Rains return to India's Kerala state, hampering rescue efforts

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised more helicopters, boats and other equipment would be sent to the southern state of Kerala to help with the rescue efforts.

Much of the state which is home to 33 million people is partially submerged and 190 people have died in the past week.

Modi took an aerial tour of the worst affected areas on Saturday before saying 38 helicopters had been deployed for search and rescue operations in the state.

An aerial view of the flood damage in Kerala state

An aerial view of the flood damage in Kerala state

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the premier had promised to provide equipment “as fast as possible.”

“The air marshal in charge of the air operations said more helicopters are on the way,” Vijayan said, adding that the federal government would send initial financial assistance of about $70 million (€61 million) with more later, and grains to replace the stocks destroyed in the floods.

Raining again

More rain started to fall in Kerala on Saturday, adding to the worst flooding in nearly a century.

Thousands of people were stranded on roof tops and upper floors of buildings without food, water or medicine even before the rains returned.

People make their way through flooded streets

People make their way through flooded streets

Rescue efforts have been hampered as floods and landslides caused buildings and bridges to collapse.

The 1,500 state-run camps have sheltered 300,000 people so far and more calls were being received daily from people in need of rescue.

More than a thousand people have been killed in seven Indian statessince the start of the monsoon season, including more than 300 in Kerala state.

The monsoon rains are forecast to ease from Sunday but the flood waters are expected to remain for some time to come.

jm/ng (Reuters, AP)

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